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The goal of our research is to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying etiopathophysiologies of psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and depression. In particular, we investigate how genetic risk factors and environmental factors, such as adolescent cannabis use and psychosocial stress, affect stress-related biological signaling mechanisms, including immune and inflammatory processes, leading to impairment of brain maturation and of cognitive and emotional behaviors. Our work also extends to translational studies that investigate how altered inflammatory cascades are involved in other psychiatric conditions, such as delirium. We hope our research ultimately identifies new therapeutic targets for early intervention of these devastating conditions.
Kamiya, A., Kubo, K., Tomoda, T., Takaki, M., Youn, R., Ozeki, Y., Sawamura, N., Park, U., Kudo, O., Okawa, M., Ross, C.A., Hatten, M.E., Nakajima, K., Sawa, A.: A schizophrenia-associated mutation of DISC1 perturbs cerebral cortex development. Nature Cell Biol., 7; 1167-1178 (2005) (highlighted as “10 major breakthroughs in 2005 in Science 310: 1880-1885 2005”)
Kamiya, A., Tan, P.L., Kubo, K., Engelhard, C., Ishizuka, K., Kubo, A., Tsukita, S., Pulver, A. E., Nakajima, K., Cascella, N. G., Katsanis, N., Sawa, A.: PCM1 is recruited to the centrosome by the cooperative action of DISC1 and BBS4 and is a candidate for psychiatric illness. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 65; 996-1006 (2008)
Niwa, M.*, Kamiya, A*., Murai, R., Kubo, K., Gruber, A., Lu, L., Seshadri, S., Hiyama, H., Jaaro-Peled, H., Noda, Y., Cascella, N., O’donnell, P., Nakajima, K., Sawa, A., Nabeshima, T.: Transient knockdown of DISC1 in the developing cerebral cortex leads to dopaminergic disturbance and schizophrenia deficits in young adult mice. *These authors contributed equally to this work. Neuron 65; 480-489 (2010)
Taniguchi, Y, Young-Pearse, T, Sawa, A, Kamiya, A.: In utero electroporation as a tool for genetic manipulation in vivo in order to study psychiatric disorders: from genes to circuits and behaviors. Neuroscientist 18;169-79 (2012).
Saito, A., Ballinger, M., Pletnikov, MV., Wong, DF., Kamiya, A.: Endocannabinoid system: potential novel targets for treatment of schizophrenia. Neurobiology of Disease 53; 10-17 (2013)
Ballinger, MD., Saito, A., Abazyan, B., Taniguchi, Y., Huang, CH., Ito, K., Zhu, X., Segal, H., Jaaro-Peled., Sawa, A., Mackie, K., Pletnikov, MV., Kamiya, A.: Adolescent cannabis exposure interacts with mutant DISC1 to produce impaired adult emotional memory. Neurobiology of Disease 82; 176-184 (2015)
Saito, A., Taniguchi, Y., Rannals, M., Merfeld, EB., Ballinger, MD., Koga, M., Ohtani, Y., Gurley, DA., Sedlak, TW., Cross, A., Moss, SJ., Brandon, NJ., Maher, BJ., Kamiya, A.: Early postnatal GABAA receptor modulation reverses deficits in neuronal maturation in a conditional neurodevelopmental mouse model of DISC1. Molecular Psychiatry (2016)
Saito, A., Taniguchi, Y., Kim, SH., Selvakumar, B., Perez, G., Ballinger, MD., Zhu, X., Sabra, J., Jallow, M., Yan, P., Ito, K., Rajendran, S., Hirotsune, S., Wynshaw-Boris, A., Snyder, SH., Sawa, A., Kamiya, A.: Developmental alcohol exposure impairs activity-dependent S-Nitrosylation of NDEL1 for neuronal maturation. Cerebral Cortex in press